Essay: Feeling Low over Old Highs

For the most part, I stopped smoking marijuana in the mid-1970s because I grew bored with ending too many social evenings lying on somebody's living- room rug, staring at the ceiling and saying, "Oh, wow!" This renunciation was not a wrenching moral decision, but rather an aesthetic rite of passage as my palate began to savor California Chardonnay with the avidity I once reserved for Acapulco Gold. Yet as an aging baby boomer, my attitudes remain emblematic of that high-times generation that once freely used soft drugs and still feels more nostalgic than repentant about the experience.

This permissive mind-set colors...

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